How to Make Reaction Videos for YouTube: Easy Steps

7 min read
November 13, 2023
May 23, 2024
Andrew Kozik
Reviewed by
Helena Raise
May 24, 2024
May 23, 2024


What Are Reaction Videos?

Reaction videos have become a wildly popular genre on YouTube. As the name suggests, a reaction video captures someone's authentic reaction to something entertaining, informative, or provocative. The "reactor" films themselves watching a video, listening to a song, tasting a new food, or experiencing something for the first time. Their genuine facial expressions, commentary, and emotions create an engaging experience for viewers.

Reaction videos took off in popularity with the React YouTube channel from the Fine Brothers. Their entertaining videos showed groups of people reacting to viral videos, old infomercials, trying international snacks, and more. The format struck a chord with audiences, who loved watching candid human reactions.

Now reaction videos represent a thriving corner of YouTube. Top creators like PewDiePie, MrBeast have racked up millions of views with their own funny and insightful reaction videos. For aspiring YouTubers, creating reactions can be an easy, effective way to grow your channel and connect with viewers.

Why Make Reaction Videos?

So why has this genre become so successful on YouTube? There are several key reasons:

It's Entertaining

At their core, reaction videos are fun to watch! Seeing how someone genuinely reacts to something provocative, shocking, or downright weird makes for engaging content. The reactor's commentary and nonverbal reactions add extra entertainment.

Provides a New Perspective

Often reaction videos offer a novel perspective on content that viewers have already seen. It's interesting to see someone else break down, analyze, and respond to viral videos, popular songs, or unusual food. Their commentary can be enlightening.

Relatable and Real

The reactor's raw emotions let viewers see themselves reflected on screen. Nodding along to a great song or cringing at a cringey video creates a shared experience between creator and audience. It feels organic.

Fosters Discussion

Reaction videos spark discussion in the comments section about the video, song, or topic being reacted to. Viewers share their own take, agree/disagree with the reactor, and have thought-provoking debates.

Drives Traffic

Creators can drive views to their own channel by reacting to trending videos or big YouTube personalities. This introduces their content to new audiences.

So by being entertaining, insightful, and real, reaction videos leverage the human experience to connect with audiences on an emotional level. For aspiring YouTubers, they represent an opportunity. So, how to do reaction videos for YouTube that stand out?

How to Make Reaction Videos for YouTube

Ready to tap into the reaction video goldmine? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create reaction videos for your YouTube channel:

Choose What to React To

  • First, pick something to react to that will elicit strong responses from you. Great options include:
  • Viral videos
  • Popular memes/TikToks
  • Movie/TV show trailers
  • Music videos
  • Mukbangs/eating challenges
  • Classic commercials or PSAs
  • Try Not To Laugh challenges

Look at trending topics to identify what's hot right now. Or browse your subscriptions and react to videos from creators you love. Think about what would allow you to provide entertaining commentary or a novel perspective.

Set Up Your Recording

Next, set up your camera and microphone to capture high-quality footage of your reaction. Some tips:

  • Frame yourself from the shoulders up in a well-lit, clutter-free setting.
  • Position the camera close enough to see facial expressions clearly.
  • Use a external microphone for crisp, audible audio if possible.
  • Have the video/audio queue up and ready to watch along with your audience.

Give an Introduction

Briefly introduce yourself, your channel, and what you'll be reacting to in the video. This gives helpful context upfront.

Record Your Candid Reactions

Now press play and let your true reactions unfold! Respond naturally to what you're watching or listening to.

  • Laugh, cringe, gasp, smile, frown - let your emotions show.
  • Nod, shake your head, dance along - be animated.
  • Provide commentary explaining your reactions. Pause if needed.

The goal is to capture authentic reactions that viewers will find entertaining and relatable.

Wrap Up With Final Thoughts

After you finish watching/listening, share your final thoughts. Would you recommend it? What was your favorite part? How did it make you feel? This brings nice closure.

Edit Your Reaction Video

Import your footage into video editing software like Premiere or Final Cut. Edit for pacing:

  • Trim any dull sections where you aren't reacting much.
  • Include some lead-in time before the main reaction.
  • Cut between your reaction footage and the video you're reacting to. The viewer should be able to follow along.
  • Add graphics, titles, subtitles if desired.

Keep it short and snappy by cutting to the good stuff.

Title & Describe Your Video

Come up with a compelling but honest title and description so viewers know what they're getting. Include relevant tags.

Publish and Promote Your Reaction

Upload to YouTube with engaging custom thumbnails and captions. Share across your other social media channels to help it gain traction. Interact with commenters.

Then sit back and watch those reactions roll in!

Reaction Video Ideas

Still not sure what to react to? Here are some creative reaction video ideas to inspire you:

  • Classic viral videos
  • Your favorite TV show episode
  • Nostalgic commercials from your childhood
  • Disney movie trailers or scenes
  • Absurd infomercial products
  • Popular TikTok dances
  • Hot chili pepper challenge
  • Reddit 50/50 challenge
  • Music videos from niche genres
  • Foreign sweets tasting test
  • Try not to sing challenges
  • Scary video game playthroughs
  • Weird song mashups
  • Hyped product reveals like new iPhones
  • Movie trailers for upcoming sequels

The options are endless. React to what genuinely interests you and your personality will shine through.

Reaction Video Equipment

Investing in quality equipment will really step up your reaction video game. Here's what you need:


A DSLR camera like the Canon T7i or a mirrorless camera like the Sony ZV-1 captures professional footage. But you can start with your smartphone or laptop webcam.


An external mic like the Blue Yeti or lapel mic like the PowerDeWise pickup crisp, clear audio of your reactions.


Mounting your camera on a tripod keeps footage steady and framed correctly. Look for one with flexible legs and a swiveling head.

Lighting Kit

Light yourself evenly with a ring light or soft box light kit. This prevents shadows and glare.

Video Editing Software

Edit your reactions with Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or free options like DaVinci Resolve or VSDC.

Investing in the right gear makes a huge difference in production quality. But start basic and upgrade over time as your channel grows.

Recording Reactions With Screen Story

If you're producing reaction videos on a Mac, the screen recording app Screen Story has great built-in features to simplify the process:

Picture-in-Picture Mode

Record your webcam feed and screen simultaneously with adjustable positioning. Capture your reactions while the viewer watches along.

Add Music

Screen Story lets you add background music to your video for upbeat reactions.

Cursor Effects

Spice up cursor movements automatically with animations and highlighting.


Quickly trim your raw reaction footage down to the best parts.


Add professional transitions like fades between clips.

Text & Graphics

Overlay titles, captions, emojis, and more to make your reactions pop.

With these polished editing features built-in, Screen Story helps you produce compelling reaction videos that viewers will love. The streamlined workflow saves time and effort.

Give it a try for your next reaction video - the first 3 video exports are free!



Reaction videos represent an exciting opportunity for aspiring YouTubers to leverage authenticity into viewership and rapid growth. By picking captivating content and letting your true reactions shine through, you can build a loyal, engaged audience on YouTube.

Invest in high-quality recording gear and editing software to take your productions up a notch. Stay tapped into the latest trends and give your real reactions. The views and subscribers will soon follow!

Reaction videos help creators build genuine connections with their audience. So press record, get real, and prepare to react!


Are reaction videos legal on YouTube?

Generally yes, under fair use laws. But always credit the original creator and seek permission if unsure. Avoid re-posting full-length content.

Should I edit out parts of my reaction?

Absolutely! Editing is crucial to cut dull moments and keep viewers engaged throughout. Trim your raw reaction down to the most entertaining and informative parts.

How long should a reaction video be?

Ideally between 3-10 minutes. Under 3 minutes may not provide enough substance. Over 10 minutes risks losing viewer interest unless you're reacting to exceptionally captivating content.

What makes a good reaction video thumbnail?

Thumbnails should feature an expressive reaction face to catch attention. Bold text clearly conveying the content also helps. A recognizable image from the video reacted to provides context.

How many reaction videos should I upload weekly?

When starting out, aim for 1-2 reaction videos per week alongside other content. As your channel grows, ramp up to 3-5 reaction videos weekly if viewers want more. But quality over quantity!

Create stunning videos with Screen Story

Record your screen with audio and create stunning videos without editing skills. Screen Story applies the best design patterns to the video automatically.

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